And Ronald Koeman He was questioned (and sentenced) before the game against Benfica, the approach to the Lisbon team and his decisions during the match have ended up condemning him. Although he assured that the match against Levante was the way to go, the Dutchman returned to his controversial origins with a conservative approach and intended more to protect himself from the Benfica game than to seek a victory necessary to fight the qualification for the round of 16. The technician let Gavi and Mingueza, who had given such a good result in the last two games, on the bench and opted for a tactical drawing based on three centrals. That is, a five-man defense. Quite the opposite of the spirit that Laporta demands from him and demands the stands. Disappointment in social networks, which burned after the Benfica’s goal after three minutes.
But the decision that sums up the chaos Koeman finds himself in was the replacement of Gerard Piqué at half an hour of play. The center-back did not suffer any discomfort because he was not treated on the bench and the excuse about the risk of expulsion that he was running for his early yellow sounds like an excuse taking into account the experience of the Catalan and the garrison that was behind the culé. Piqué sat down and yielded his position to Gavi, bragging about a brave bet and scheme change, but the technician decided to embed Frenkie de Jong, clairvoyant in the offensive phase, in the axis of the rear.
Piqué attended incredulous and with the face of few friends at the end of the meeting. He didn’t even put on a sweatshirt, nor was there the slightest bit of pain on his face, nor was he addressing the club doctor. He was being the great signal of the defeat that the team was suffering in Lisbon. The image, with the footballer lying down and staring, summarizes the game and the situation the club is experiencing. Surely, Koeman’s decision will have consequences in the locker room.
«La Masía is the way and the inalienable style of play. This genuine and recognizable style, which no other team in the world has, if we make it compatible with high-performance sports techniques we put ourselves on another level. So we will be unbeatable, “he boasted Laporta during lunch with the Benfica board of directors. The president did not expect what Koeman had planned for the game against the Portuguese team but he was loaded with reasons to make a drastic decision.
The coach shook the team late, with three changes in the 67th minute, just before conceding the second goal. Barcelona made it very difficult to qualify for the round of 16. Is forced to win both games against Dynamo Kiev and overcome the goal difference with Benfica at the Camp Nou.